St Patrick's Day is being moved next year

Liturgically speaking, that is…in Australia, Ireland and probably various other places around the world too.

I saw an article in the *Catholic Weekly * over the weekend. It noted that, due to the unusually early date of Easter in 2008, the normal date for the solemnity of St Patrick, 17 March, falls on the Monday of Holy Week. And since, according to the Church’s liturgical rules, the days of Holy Week and Easter rank above all others, the solemnity of St Patrick must be moved to another date.

In Australia the bishops’ conference has decided that St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated on Friday 14 March instead. No doubt the pubs will be thrilled. They’ll probably get patrons celebrating twice.

St. Patrick’s Day was my sister’s birthday. I’m sure she would have approeciated two chances to celebrate. :slight_smile:

Sounds like a good excuse for a four-day-long weekend – followed (for Australians at least), by another four-day-weekend.

Easter of 2008 is on March 23, as early as it will ever be in our lifetimes. It’s one of those moveable observances, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, unless that day is a Sunday, in which case Easter is on the following Sunday. Got it?

Our Episcopal Book of Common Prayer has a chart showing all the dates Easter will be on(or has been on) from 1900 to 2089, and on only two of those days was Easter on Mar 23. The other was in 1913 I think.

In 2011 Easter will be just about as late as it can be, on April 24. Of that same 189 year period Easter will have occurred later, on April 25, only two times, in 1943 and in 2038.

I need to find out what the American churches are doing about this. Topeka, where I am, has a popular St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s held on the actual day, (unless it’s a Sunday) and since in 2007 it was on Saturday, the attendance was tremendous. When it’s on a weekday lots of people are still there, but not as many kids since school is in session. If churches here move the observance they might have another Saturday parade.

They ought to just move it to Montana. Lots of room.

Sounds like the Irish have a simple solution - just celebrate for 5 days straight! That covers both dates.

Hmmm… interesting. My church is St. Patrick’s Episcopal. Perhaps I should investigate what the BCP (Book of Common Prayer) says about this. I have a feeling the liturgical rules are close to the Catholic church, but I’m not sure.

I need folks like Baker and Polycarp to weigh in on this. Perhaps they and other Doper Episcopalians will pick up the courtesy phone.

Ok, I found this in the BCP:

Because of the Foot And Mouth disease outbreak we celebrated St. Patrick’s day in June or July one year. I think it was 2002.